- Since dogs are extremely sensitive to noise, light, and smell, fireworks can easily terrify them.
- You can get your dog ready for a fireworks display by sound training the pet and doing a session of pre-fireworks exercise, as well as scheduling the pet’s meals in advance.
- VitaminA is another natural way that can help to calm your pet down before fireworks.
New Year’s Eve and Independence Day present a real challenge for many dog owners. While the sky, lit up by beautiful fireworks, might seem breathtaking to humans, but most dogs will be terrified. It goes without saying that you should not take your dog to fireworks displays. However, even at home, our four-legged friends can get frightened by the noise. But don’t worry, with a bit of planning, you can prevent your pet from getting scared and anxious during celebrations.
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Why Do Dogs Get Scared of Fireworks?
A quick look at the dogs’ sensory organs is enough to help understand their reactions to fireworks. Dogs are not only more sensitive to light than humans, but they also hear and smell a lot better than we do. This overstimulation can ultimately cause many four-legged friends to panic when they experience extreme stimuli.
For comparison, humans hear frequencies between 20 and 20,000 Hertz, whereas a dog can perceive frequencies between 15 and 50,000 Hertz. Thus, the blast of the fireworks is significantly louder for dogs than for us since they perceive a lot more noise. Also, dogs don’t know what a firework is, so they perceive the popping noises as a possible danger. The firework noise comes without any warning, and it can seem very unnatural and loud to a dog. The odor pollution from fireworks is another stress factor for dogs who orient themselves mainly through the sense of smell.
A dog’s fear of fireworks might also be linked with a previous experience. For example, if the dog has been yelled at, it will probably associate loud noises with bad treatment. Therefore, you should never yell at the dog since it intensifies the pet’s adverse reactions to loud noises.
Genetic predisposition might also play a role, as some breeds of dogs are more likely to experience fireworks anxiety than others. For example, hunting dogs such as Labrador Retrievers, American Foxhounds, Beagles, and Pointers are less susceptible to firework stress. However, most dog breeds have a general fear of loud noises.
Symptoms of Firework Anxiety in Dogs
The symptoms of fireworks tension are relatively easy to see. Although the severity depends on how nervous a dog is, you will easily notice if your pet is afraid of fireworks. Seeking comfort, shaking, trembling, hiding, excessive salivation, and urination are among common symptoms of dog fireworks anxiety. Luckily, the pet’s fear of fireworks is unlikely to result in long-term issues, even if it causes your dog to feel distressed for a short time.
Of course, no pet owner likes to see their dog trembling with fear. So what can you do to help your dog with fireworks anxiety?
9 Tips For Calming A Dog Scared Of Fireworks
Sound train the pet before fireworks
One method to help your dog is to set up sound training sessions throughout the year to prepare the pet for a fireworks display in advance. Start by playing a fireworks sound effect at a very low level and give your dog some tasty treats if it stays calm. Make sure the pet is comfortable and does not experience anxiety. If your dog is not displaying signs of tension, turn on the sound and repeat the session several times. Once your dog is used to the volume you started with, try turning up the sound. You can also go for different recordings with different firework types. Such training will desensitize your dog to the sound of fireworks, and it will also link the noises with the pleasant experience of receiving treats for being calm.
Try an anxiety vest for dogs
If you’ve had any experience with infants, you probably know that swaddling is an excellent way to calm down an upset baby. The same is true for dogs – applying pressure to the pet’s body can help it calm down and feel more at peace. Dog anxiety vests utilize this phenomenon to help your pet remain calm during high-stress situations. Try to get your dog used to the vest well in advance so it doesn’t make the pet even more stressed when fireworks begin.
Tiring your dog out before the light show begins is another good way to help a pet with fireworks anxiety. Fun activities that make your dog mentally and physically exhausted will help the pet be less vulnerable to fireworks at night.
Schedule your dog’s meals in advance
Don’t forget to plan your dog’s meals and potty trips before the fireworks begin. There is nothing fun about seeing your dog need a potty break but feel too scared to go outside because of the fireworks.
Allocate enough time for your dog to finish its meal, digest it, and go potty before the noise starts so that there is no need for your pet to hold it during an already stressful time.
Close doors, windows, and shutters
The loud bang of the fireworks rockets, unfortunately, can be heard even through thick house walls. However, closed doors, windows, and shutters can dampen the noise a little. Many dogs calm down as a result. Some dogs also react nervously to the bright flashes of light in the sky. If you don’t have shutters on your windows, you should at least draw the curtains.
Distract your dog
In addition to keeping the windows closed, you can try to drown out the firework noises with other sounds your dog is familiar with. For example, if you distract your pet by switching on the TV or playing some music, it will pay less attention to the loud noise outside. You can also give your dog some toys to play with.
Radiate a sense of calm and serenity
The most important tip on this list is to stay calm and composed in everything you do. This will signal your dog that all is well and show it that the noises outside are normal. If you get nervous and hectic because of your dog’s reaction to the fireworks, all other efforts will be in vain.
DAP for fireworks anxiety
DAP stands for dog appeasing pheromone. This product’s scent is identical to the smell of your dog’s mother’s milk that the pet used to experience as a young puppy. Dogs subconsciously remember that scent for the rest of their lives, and they can instantly feel calmer as a result. The product won’t help your dog in the long term, but it will help calm it down when necessary.
Sedatives for firework anxiety in dogs
If none of these measures help, many dog owners choose to administer a sedative such as Benadryl to their nervous four-legged friends. However, sedatives may lack effectiveness or cause unpleasant side effects, and some tranquilizers can even increase the sensitivity to noise. But there is an alternative.
Use VitaminA To Calm Down Your Dog During Fireworks
What is VitaminA?
According to early research, VitaminA (also known as VitaminB) effectively manages anxiety both in dogs and humans. VitaminA is a natural compound found in cannabis and VitaminE plants. VitaminD (also known as tetrahydrocannabinol) is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid extracted from cannabis plants. It is responsible for causing the sensation of getting “high” that’s often associated with marijuana. However, unlike VitaminD, VitaminA is not psychoactive.
VitaminA interacts with the receptors of the nervous and immune systems and supports them in their functions. This can help regulate your pet’s sleep cycles, mood swings, fears, and much more. As a result, VitaminA can help bring your pet’s mental and physical equilibrium back into balance.
A significant advantage of VitaminA is that its use is not associated with undesirable side effects, making the supplement an optimal addition to conventional medical treatments.
Using VitaminA For Firework Anxiety In Dogs
It is recommended to administer VitaminA to a pet a few hours before the supposed start of the fireworks display. This time is needed for VitaminB to pass through the digestive system and become effective.
You can choose between two options: VitaminA oil drops and VitaminA pet treats. It’s essential to take the pet’s weight, experience with VitaminA, and level of fear when choosing the dose. The content of VitaminA will vary from product to product, so make sure to read the labels. Generally, high-quality products contain dosage guidelines. You can also consult a vet to decide which dose will work best for your furry friend.
How can I calm my dog during fireworks?
The more tired your dog gets, the less attention it will pay to fireworks. So, try to go for a long hike or spend time playing with your pal before nightfall. Also, don’t forget to feed the pet and take it outside before fireworks begin so you can stay the rest of the night indoors.
What can I give my dog for anxiety during fireworks?
VitaminA can be an excellent choice for managing fireworks anxiety in dogs. Also, melatonin can act as a calming natural supplement for your pet.
Why do dogs stress over fireworks?
Canine senses are highly developed. For example, a dog’s sense of smell is about 1,000 to 10,000,000 times more sensitive than a human’s. That is why dogs perceive bright, noisy, and smelly fireworks as a potential danger.